Creating even a simple restaurant wine list takes time and effort. Transforming a wine list into an outstanding combination of wine selections, cellar inventory and service that is worthy of global recognition takes passion and dedication. This year, two restaurants have accomplished just that, earning Wine Spectator's Grand Award—the world’s highest honor for a restaurant wine program.
The Grand Award class of 2022 highlights two restaurants offering their own original point of views: one reaching back to its chef-owner’s roots in the past and one celebrating its current evolution.
Alsatian-inspired restaurant Gabriel Kreuther, a Midtown Manhattan destination, has reached Grand Award level for the first time this year, having managed not only to thrive after a temporary pandemic closure but to continue building its wine list.
"We are honored to be recognized by Wine Spectator this year," said chef Gabriel Kreuther. "This acknowledgement is a testament to the collaboration between our sommelier and culinary team and the expansive and diverse selection of wines they have curated for our restaurant and the pleasure of our guests."
Press restaurant in the Napa Valley town of St. Helena has long specialized in all things California, celebrating and highlighting its immediate surroundings. But under the next generation of ownership, with new culinary and wine leadership, it has newly achieved Grand Award heights while continuing to be a favorite of locals.
"Receiving the Grand Award at Press for a Napa Valley–focused wine list goes beyond just restaurants and wine lists,” wine director Vincent Morrow notes. “It is an acknowledgment of our hard-working community here in Napa Valley, and it is an acknowledgment of American history, so much of which is steeped in this very special 30-mile corridor."
The Grand Award is presented to restaurants that show uncompromising, passionate devotion to the quality of their wine programs, typically offering 1,000 or more selections and the highest level of service. (Learn more about the awards criteria.)
In 1981, the inaugural year for Wine Spectator’s Restaurant Awards program, the magazine honored 13 restaurants with Grand Awards based on their extraordinary wine lists. The program’s goal was to both recognize and encourage excellence in wine programs. Over the decades, as wine became more ingrained in American dining culture, the program has grown; the Grand Award winners now total 97, with the addition of the 2022 winners. Overall, the Restaurant Awards recognize a total of more than 3,100 dining spots at three levels: the Award of Excellence, the Best of Award of Excellence and, at the top, the Grand Award.
The full list of 2022 Restaurant Award winners will be available on the website June 27, when the free, searchable database will be updated with all of the year’s honorees. In addition, the website features an extensive collection of articles, including Q&As with leading sommeliers, chefs and restaurateurs; roundups of where to drink well and restaurant-related news.
All award winners will be featured in the Aug. 31, 2022, issue of Wine Spectator (available on newsstands July 12), which, along with the full profiles of the new Grand Award winners, also includes in-depth reporting on how restaurants are adapting their wine lists to attract more diners.